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  • Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke

    Congratulations to Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke on recieving the Iowa State University Graduate College Research Excellence Award!

    This award, "recognize(s) graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in their theses and dissertations... (Recipients) are also expected to be academically superior and able not only to do research, but also to develop a well written product. The intent of this program is to recognize "the best of the best" graduating students who have submitted theses and dissertations."

  • Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke

    Congratulations to Dr. Kruttika S. Phadke on her successful defense!

    Her presentation was titled: "Pathogenesis of intracellular organisms". In it, she discussed methods to study pathogenesis and introduced a novel nano-therapeutic against intracellular pathogens like Select Agent Burkholderia psuedomallei and COVID-19 causative agent SARS-CoV-2. 

  • Binaya Raj Pandey

    First year Microbiology Ph.D. student Binayak Raj Pandey attended the finals of the 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition organized by the Graduate College on November 9, 2023. He was selected as one of the 8 final-round participants among 8 heat zones from the graduate school. His presentation was titled "Fall into feul: A concept". Congratulations Binayak!

  • Hannah Watkins Pictured with Award

    Hannah Watkins was awarded 1st Place Graduate Oral Presentation at the 83rd annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology North Central Branch held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (November 2-3). Hannah’s presentation was titled “Targeted culturing and characterization of Prevotella from the swine gastrointestinal tract”. Congratulations Hannah!

  • Catherine Batchelder Speaks at WISE

    MGSO recently participated in the Fall 2023 Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) conference. During the conference highschoolers from all across Iowa participated in various science exercises. This year, MGSO taught the students about microbial ecology and made winogradsky columns. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make the Fall 2023 WISE Conference such a success!

  • Congratulations to the Boury lab on being awarded multiple National Science Foundation grants! Details on the grants are outlined below:

  • PhD Candidate Marissa Roghair Stroud Headshot

    Marissa Roghair Stroud recently received a United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) Predoctoral Fellowship! Marissa is studying the genetics of maize microbiome formation in the lab of Dr. Larry Halverson. Her project is titled: “CRISPRi to identify Pseudomonas putida gene networks essential for rhizosphere microbiome assembly”

    Congratulations Marissa!

  • “Changing Colors and Understanding: The Use of Mutant Chromogenic Protein and Informational Suppressor Strains of Escherichia Coli to Explore the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.” Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

    Sarah DeWolf, of the Boury lab in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, recently published a first-author publication in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education titled, "Changing colors and understanding: the use of mutant chromogenic protein and informational suppressor strains of Escherichia coli to explore the central dogma of molecular biology".

  • Associate Professor Melha Mellata’s lab is developing a probiotic for chickens to help prevent salmonella outbreaks: Image by Christopher Gannon

    Dr. Melha Mellata and her lab's research on chicken probiotic development was recently featured in an article in the Fall 2023 edition of the Iowa Stater magazine. 

    Read the article here:

  • Michelle Chamberlain was recently awarded NASA’s Future Investigators in Earth Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant to support her PhD work. Her proposal was “Life's Essential Elements: How Early Metal Availability Impacted the Nitrogen Cycle.” Over the course of three years Michelle will study how iron and molybdenum availability impact the nitrogen cycle in Archaean ocean analog Deming Lake alongside her advisor Elizabeth Swanner.

  • Dr. Mellata

    Dr. Melha Mellata, associate professor of molecular microbiology and IM Program Chair, was recently awarded a $635,000 grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture's Animal Health Program. 

    Over the next four years, Dr. Mellata's team aims to develop a probiotic for newly hatched chicks that inhibits salmonella proliferation. A keystone bacterium they want to apply in the probiotic is segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). Chicks inoculated with SFB after hatching have been shown to fight off salmonella infections better than uninoculated chicks.

    Read more about the grant proposal in the CALS Research and Discovery Newsletter:

  • mendonca

    IM Faculty members Dr. Aubrey Mendonca and Dr. Byron Brehm-Stecher recently received the Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award. 

    "Iowa State's formal mentoring program was started in the late 1990's." "The Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award recognizes faculty mentors who go above and beyond the formal expectations of Iowa State's mentoring program."

    Read more at the link:

  • Dr. Paul Plummer

    Interdepartmental Microbiology program member Dr. Paul Plummer currently serves as the National Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) executive director and was recently appointed as the new council chair for the US presidential advisor council on combating antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. 


    Read more about Dr. Plummer's appointment here:

  • IM Retreat Banner

    Here is the program for the 2023 Interdepartmental Microbiology Spring Retreat hosted at the Memorial Union on 3/21/23.(UPDATED)2023 IM RETREAT.pdf

  • Dylan.GRAM

    From Dylan:

  • Zach.GRAM

    From Zach: 

    "Corrosion is a spontaneous electrochemical process that results in the deterioration of metals, this process costs many fields across the globe trillions of dollars each year. Microbial biofilms have been identified in many studies as one of the causes for corrosion of metal surfaces through a process called microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC). However, microbial biofilms have also been implicated more recently as inhibitors of corrosion through microbiologically influenced corrosion inhibition (MICI).

  • GRAM.2023.Akhil

    Akhil is a fifth-year PhD student in the lab of Dr. Karin Allenspach-Jorn and Dr. Jonathan Mochel. His research  focuses on the impact of toxic intestinal metabolites on bladder cancer organoids. The project involves establishing a new patient-derived, non-invasive canine organoid model to test potential carcinogenic candidates and study metastasis pathways. This research aims to contribute to a better understanding of human bladder cancer pathogenesis.

  • Marissa.GRAM

    Marissa Roghair Stroud was awarded the Graduate Research Award in Microbiology (GRAM) for Summer 2023. Marissa is a 4th year PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Larry Halverson, and her summer project will be using CRISPR interference to identify essential and conditionally essential genes in Pseudomonas putida, a model maize rhizosphere colonist. The long-term goal of her project is to use this information to determine genes that are essential for rhizosphere microbiome assembly and maintenance when growing alongside other organisms. By uncovering the rhizosphere microbiome assembly dynamics, we will someday be able to rationally design microbiomes for desired outcomes.


  • Gram.2023.Recipients

    This year, the Interdepartmental Microbiology program reinstated the Graduate Research Award in Microbiology (GRAM). 

    The purpose of the GRAM  is to encourage and recognize independent, creative thinking and planning toward important research that promises to generate significant new knowledge. A student may apply for the award by submitting an original research proposal. Proposed research that involves collaborative or cooperative efforts expected to provide unique experience and training for the student beyond what might be available in the student’s existing research program are especially encouraged.

    The 2023 recipients of the GRAM are:

  • List of Graduates

    Congratulations to all of the IM program members who graduated in 2022! 🎉


    We wish you all the best as you move forward with your careers!


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